Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Necropolis

Near my work is a cemetery so big it's not a mere cemetery – it's a NECROPOLIS. The Rookwood Necropolis is a city of death of spooky proportions, covering over 300 hectares and filled with over a million corpses, it is far and away the biggest necropolis in the southern hemisphere. Sometimes, on my lunch break, I go running through here.

There are hills and valleys and roads and trails and buildings and at one point there were three railway stations that brought coffins and mourners from "mortuary station" in Sydney into the Necropolis before car transport became commonplace. It's easy to get very lost in here, and even with a good sense of direction, I often do.

It's laid out in different sections: the Jews, the Catholics, the war dead, the Chinese, "Independents", Greeks, Russian Orthodox, isn't it funny how in life as in death everyone stays segregated in their own ghettos. Yesterday, I was running through the Catholics and toward the Jews on one of the many roads, rocking out to my iPod, when I saw an old man gesturing in my direction. I took off my headphones and he was trying to ask me something. It was very hot out, and I noticed the old man was stooped over and sweating. He must have been in his 80s, or beyond. "Do you know where the crematorium is?" he asked me.

I told him I had run past it one day, I thought, and I pointed in a vague direction over yonder - but it was at least a couple kilometers away. I told him it was much too far to walk. I said he should get back in his car and drive in that direction. "I've already walked this far from Lidcombe station," he told me. "I don't have a car." He thanked me and began hobbling off in the direction I'd indicated.

I continued my run, completely overcome by this man's story. Already he'd walked alone a couple kilometres from the station, and he had a couple more to go in the blazing midday sun. I wondered if he would ever find that crematorium, hidden in that city of death. I wished I could have helped in his grim, likely heartbreaking, lonely mission. One old man struggling in that sea of a million sleeping souls.   

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for? This year, as always, I'm grateful to have given another year spinning around the sun with wonderful people, and also for a new addition to my world: this gorgeous gully.
gully gussied up with Instagram
According to a signpost it was once a one-stop shop for the Aboriginals, who found here fresh water, medicinal plants and it's within spearing-distance of the fish in the waters off Bronte Beach. This is practically in my backyard, where I get to start my days before work swimming in the ocean pool...
I'm thankful to be a part of the world, but not for how it's been managed. Thanksgiving commemorates the Native-Americans having helped the Pilgrims to survive their first winter… only to be later repaid with mass genocide. I'm also sorry that Aboriginals no longer roam the gully.   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stranger By The Lake

Have you seen Stranger By The Lake? It's a French drama that won the Queer Palm at Cannes...
It's set at a summertime lakeshore gay cruising area where men sunbathe nude and cruise in the nearby foliage.
Our head man on the make, Franck, prowling alone during the early evening, spots sexy Michel in the lake with his boyfriend. From his surreptitious vantage point, it looks like Michel and his boyfriend are just horsing around in the water, until he watches Michel drown the boyfriend and casually swim away.
Franck never admits to what he saw, but can't resist his attraction to Michel and he keeps coming back every day to have sex with him, tempting his own fate, and putting everyone at risk. At one point, a detective investigating the drowning sums up the way this community seems to show love to one another, and it's pretty dead on.
Stranger By The Lake saves on locations - it never leaves the claustrophobic lakeside. And besides the nudity and non-simulated actual gay sex, it's a slow-burner, which is to say Simon found it just boring. But when I sit down for a French film, I'm prepared to just sit down. I found it to be an insightful exploration and indictment of not just how gay men treat one another, but how we treat ourselves. In not unsimilar circumstances, we can watch someone die of a GHB overdose and still take GHB; we can watch friends die of AIDS and still have unprotected sex.
More than any other minority groups, gays love to circle the inferno. We dance around the edge to see how close we can come without actually being claimed by the volcano. I've done it myself. The risk is the thrill.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire

There's a smoldering new superstar catching fire in the new Hunger Games! The franchise is loaded with attractive young men, but it's not the gorgeous, charisma-free Hemsworth clone. Nor is it adorable, edible, twinkie dream Josh Hutcherson. Goldilocks has found something just right in the tantalising in the latest addition to the cast, Sam Claflin. He plays the seductively mischievous Finnick Odair.
Oh yeah, and the movie is fine too!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween



Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's Smoking Outside

As bushfires continue to rage across New South Wales, smart phones have caught up with a new kind of weather phenomenon. It's not just the heat. When it's more than sunny, it's 31 degrees and... smoke.
Personally, I would have gone for scorching.

Crowdfunding's Best

Want to feel a part of something? Get involved in a creative project!  

My friend and longtime collaborator Casper Andreas went back to his homeland of Sweden to shoot his touching short film, A Last Farewell, with producer David Fardmar. They're needing a shot in the arm to take this alternative family drama to as many film festivals as possible... it's got two famous Swedish actors, and by supporting the campaign you can see this film as well as get a digital copy of one of our previous films, such as A Four Letter Word or Violet Tendencies, all for just $20!

Another friend of mine, Jacqueline Kabat, one of the most hilarious people on the planet, is seeking funding to make her documentary Comedy Improv Can Save The World - where she proves humor heals as she takes it to three distinct groups (who need it): veterans with PTSD, inner city kids in Chicago, and employees on Wall Street. Check out her campaign.

Finally, my radio co-host Jack Crane of Gay Panic, is willing to strip to get more subscribers! That's right, he will take off one item of clothing per subscriber. Just call in during the show, tonight from 7:30 to 8pm on 2Ser 107.3FM. 9514-9500. No doubt he will tweet the results of him wearing nothing but the guitar stylings of some lesbian folk song!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Throwback!

When  I was growing up, Mom used to like to dress my brother Ryan and me in cowboy gear. To this day, I've got a thing for cowboy boots and pearlescent buttons. Here is one of the only times you'll ever see me to the right of my brother!


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Scamdance: Festival of Broken Dreams

Help my co-creator of Half-Share Sean Hanley create his new film, Scamdance: Festival of Broken Dreams. He's taken some of his experience in the independent industry and mined it for comedy gold featuring parodies of famous film scenes. Sean is an incredible (and incredibly hilarious) writer and by contributing to the campaign, perks include unprecedented involvement in the filmmaking process.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

USA Government Shuts Down

What happens when bullies don't get their way? They destroy.

The Republicans took control of the House in 2010 and have not passed any substantial legislation since that time - and now, because they aren't able to take the nation's budget hostage and ransom it with provisions to strip health care reform (now a law, upheld by the Supreme Court) - they have forced a shut down of the government.

So with their pent up anger and hate, these spoiled brat politicians who can't get their way have chosen to destroy - without any concern for who they hurt. Certainly not concern for the nation, or the million federal workers now furloughed. These ideological fossils are the same ones who can't vote to pass a law requiring background checks on assault weapons, because it's not their children getting killed in mass shootings. I'm so glad not to be in the USA right now. Let's hope what the government shut down does accomplish is the shutdown of their careers.  

Rachel Maddow effectively outlines how they promised to do it all along.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Queen of Everything

You wouldn't know it from the content of her albums these days, but Madonna still has something to say. Her 17-minute short film with Steven Klein, Revolution, is an awesome piece of work that's arty without so much farty and kind of making me love her again.



The revolution will not be televised, on the internet, or downloaded on an app from your iPhone...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gamechangers.

How are you calculating HIV risk in the age of undetectable? Read my latest in OUT magazine.





Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blackmores Half-Marathon

Finished the Blackmores Half-Marathon yesterday. Gorgeous day racing across the stunning Harbour Bridge and finishing at the iconic Opera House. I came in at 1:27 (158 of 7500), and that includes an unprecedented (but 911 emergency) port-a-john pit stop at around the 12k mark! Not at my peak, but I was happy to have achieved my personal goal to beat anyone wearing headphones, an artillery belt, compression socks or those hideous primate shoes with toes.
For some reason, the half-marathon began before the full, which meant getting up at 4:30 and across the harbour for a 6:15 am start. And the spectacular scenery was dulled by the dull (and deadly quiet) streets of the CBD and its raked overpasses... but just look at this finish! 


Huge congrats to excellent finish of first time half competitors Bam and Simon, if not the waylayed-by-freak-injury Gerald. We earned our beers yesterday, and it was nice to race again. Full results here.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

9/11/13

Twelve years ago, I was making breakfast in the Lower East Side when I heard a massive crash that sounded like thunder. I looked out the window and saw only a clear blue Tuesday morning, unaware everything had changed.

Am I a pessimist if every year on 9/11, I think of this inspirational quote? "Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Timing Is Everything

After watching videos of Russian trannies and gangs being beaten up by sadistic skinheads who film the abuse and put it on social media sites knowing full well they won't be punished thanks to Putin's homophobic laws... I find Wentworth Miller's message refreshing.
 The 41-year-old actor was invited to a prestigious film festival in St Petersburg and wrote that he must decline because he is a gay man. "I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied the basic right to live and love openly," he said.

The actor has denied his sexuality in the past, but coming out publicly in such a purposeful way at such a crucial time sends a strong message of solidarity to Russia's vulnerable gay community and puts a global spotlight on homophobia.

Who Needs To Give It A Rest?

Pop Princesses. The rah rah rivalry over Katy Perry's ROAM and Lady Gaga's APPLAUSE has reached sharknado proportions. I just want to give them both a nice melatonin-infused chai tea, wash off the grease paint, read a bedtime story, pat their heads and put them to bed. Then their nightmares begin: Beyonce reclaims the mantle of planet pop as they sleep with yet another formula guaranteed hit.
Batman. Fucking hell. An entire news cycle on the casting of Ben Affleck as the next Batman? How many Batmans do we have to deal with? Is there another superhero, preferably one who knows how to have a good time? Now he's being paired with Superman, who is just as prolific and tiresome. With three hours of exposition that was all backstory, I should have read the book. Henry Cavill's dreary,  deadly serious Superman had all the thrills of a prolapsed anus.

Lisa Bonet. I might watch Batman if he were Jason Mamoa aka Kahl Drogo from Game Of Thrones in his own superhero suit. Why does Lisa Bonet need to rest? The reason you have not seen hide nor hair from Lisa Bonet since that Cosby Show spinoff is because she's been working overtime laying (claim to) the finest men on the planet. I wouldn't even say she was the most attractive Huxtable (maybe Vanessa, or even mother Claire) but Lisa Bonet and her charms (twerking?) landed both Mamoa and Lenny Kravitz – whereupon she quickly punctuated her success by having their babies. She may be greedy, but the girl has taste.










Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Out, Out, Damned Spot!

The Australian government's response to boat refugees is racism and xenophobia couched in terms of national security and it's being used as political propaganda in the run-up to the federal election. Undocumented refugees arriving by boat are now being shipped to camps in Papau New Guinea.

Back in Australia, the government spends a $37 million dollar ad campaign to discourage asylum seekers including full page spreads in the Sydney Morning Herald. Some say the ads are meant for voters.
Most Aussies I know are disgusted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's archaic, hardline stance against asylum-seekers, which looks even more aggressive than the conservative party (who are called the Liberals if you can wrap your head around that).

The refugees in PNG have rioted against their appalling conditions, and there are reports that security forces paid for by the Australian government are brutal in their violence, especially against women. Not to mention that gay refugees are subject to PNG's law punishing homosexuality with 14 years in prison.

It's not only that Australia could benefit from a bigger population, and more affordable labor. A leader doesn't spend millions shipping away a problem and call it a solution. Little wonder the Prime Minister is losing at the polls. He's divided his own base. There has to be a humane, 21st Century response to immigration.



Monday, August 19, 2013

Drunk Walking? Stop it. Skip Home Instead.

Why is the Nanny spending your tax dollars in a campaign against drunk walking? Because she cares.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mid-Life Crisis, Squared.

My essay in this month's OUT magazine was one I found difficult to write. It talks about what it's like being diagnosed with HIV later in life, giving voice to a population we don't often hear from. It also focused on my friend Jerry so treading carefully around a touchy topic while being as frank as possible was compounded by feeling the pressure to do justice to, and not misrepresent, his own story. If you don't have this month's issue, check it out online here. Out includes a great illustration by Keith Negley.



Jerry said he was considering showing the piece to his sister as a way of coming out about his status, which is the best compliment I could have hoped for. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

City 2 Surf 2013!

All of Sydney comes together for the most populated road race in the world! City 2 Surf has a whopping 80,000 entrants that includes (from what I saw) Superman, the Big Bad Wolf, and Elvis.
And they're off! The crowd pours out of Hyde Park from the city towards the sea. It becomes a game of Frogger/Dodgem to get around everyone and you begin to understand why there are participant limits to most races because here you can't get into the groove of your pace due to all the $&*$@ people in your way.

I've had a head cold but was really happy with my race, whizzing up notorious Heartbreak Hill and even having the energy to shout out encouragement to the people running nearby me. Who I'm not sure appreciated the loudmouth yapping... "hearbreak, nothing! You OWN this!"

Phew. I made it to Bondi ahead of all the kids and grannies (my updated road race fitness goal).
It was a gorgeous midwinter day- 20c/72f - so I joined several runners who dipped into the surf.
Look - it's an official entrant! Bam is on a fitness streak and placed high enough to seed himself in a faster start group next year.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Helpmann Awards

The Helpmann Awards honor achievement in live art entertainment - sort of an Australian Tony's. Not having seen much live theatre recently, I took the Sydney imperative: take any chance you get to go to visit the Opera House or harbour beaches, and went. We caught up with Tina Arena, Baz Luhrmann and a bunch of talented people mixed with sycophantic hangers on and fabulous nobodies.

Enjoying a pre-show drink among the gorgeous sails of the Opera House in moonlight. 
Any tribute to the Australian arts would naturally include a 20-minute celebration of Kylie Minogue in dance, which was a highlight. But as most of the awards were being accepted by proxies who gave rambling speeches of their own, not to mention many of the shows getting awards being crap Broadway knock-offs from 2005 (Legally Blonde?), a mid-show escape to the outdoor Opera Bar was in order.
This is winter - beautiful!
We returned for the after-party, which was the best part - and not just for the food and drink. We met this sweet duo, Patty and her gay pal David. They are best friends from ages ago, and have a cabaret act together. Patty's musician husband died this year and he was featured in the musical tribute of the Helpmann's, so it had been an emotional show for her.
Patty and David are looking to revive their act later this year, putting together a "Gershwin meets Liberace" cabaret (!) We talked all night about their past and future, as I kept insisting for their new act we showcase Patty up on the piano sultry and sparkling and purring like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Hopefully we'll have someone to cheer on at the Helpmann's next year!



Sunday, August 04, 2013

There Never Was A Woman Like Tallulah

The unbelievable, bigger-than-life, one woman whirlwind of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that was TALLULAH BANKHEAD. Read my crash course on the legend in DNA Magazine issue #162 or click the link here. Thank me later!



Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Confederacy of Dunces

You know one of those books that's always on the periphery, that you've heard recommended but never quite got round to picking it up? A Confederacy of Dunces finally landed in my lap - and at first I wished it hadn't! I wasn't jibing with the humor, it felt alien, and the protagonist, Ignatius J Reilly, is utterly repulsive. He's the definitive anti-hero: a gluttonous, massive, lazy, deluded, pompous, unemployed 30-year old who lives with his mother (who he mistreats).

Yet when given an opportunity to reveal itself, the alien can expose you to a fascinating new worldview. So it was with Ignatius and this book. His mother forces him to get a job, and as Ignatious goes through a series of misadventures in employment, staging abortive coups, revolutions, belching, writing manifestos and railing against the machine, society, manners, decency (you can see why I'm liking this), even his anarchist, absent girlfriend Myrna Minkoff (the Minx), and most of all his mother Irene. He's constantly complaining about his "valve", the latest hideous offense "Fortuna" has wrought upon him, brandishing a cutlass and enlisting a calvacade of characters to his cause - my favorite being half-wit elderly Miss Trixie, who calls him Gloria. More than anything, Ignatius is written with deft, scathing, ultimately wholesome innocent humor.

The path to its publication is an extraordinary one. Its author, John Kennedy Toole, committed suicide at 31 (reportedly because he couldn't get this published). It was only through the perseverance of his mother, who shopped the manuscript around, that A Confederacy of Dunces, written in the 60s, was published in 1980 - going on to win the Pulitzer in 1981.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Lovin'

I'm very excited to announce my Fire Island comedy Half-Share has come in top 10 across all cable markets for HERE! Television!
If you'd like to see more Half-Share, please let HERE! TV know what you think by messaging them here at this link. Sean and I had a lot of support and creatives involved who would love to see this take off. If you haven't seen the hilarity, rent, buy or stream Half-Share from just $1.99. We also got a nice mention in this month's DNA magazine. I wonder how that happened!?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Running The Hunter

Look how pretty Newcastle is in the dead of winter. 


 Gerald, his brother Mark and I headed up there for the winery 10K "fun" run. 

...But not before tearing through town. Dinner at Darby street, and then onto Unity nightclub - wherever that was! A taxi dropped us off here on the train tracks. Gerald and Mark got out of the car and gave me the jesseonthebrink... what fresh hell is this look. 

But the best part was getting back to our hotel, Noah's. We crashed a "Christmas In July" corporate event with a band, booze, and large ladies wearing taffeta. The "financial controller" pegged us quickly as not with the company (what gave us away?) and they kicked us out, wagging fingers and snatching glasses out of our hands (not before we pounded them). NOT the Christmas in July spirit!

Waking up at the crack of dawn was not pretty. Somehow we didn't make the dip in the convict built ocean pool I had sworn we were going to do...
 But the course was calling. It could have been worse, as there was a marathon option. The Hunter Valley 10K was an ideal (although Gerald kept threatening to do the 5K walk/run "Winery Wander") and it was a beautiful day.
The course had more hills than the Adirondacks and though I actually like hills, not having trained for months means it takes a lot longer to recover from them.
The views were spectacular, however, and thanks to my father being a distance coach.. I'm better the longer I go. I started to hit my stride after the 5k mark. Did a horrendous time of :45 but came in 29th, beating all the grannies, kids and was 20 minutes ahead of these two who phoned it in together!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Who Wants To Come In My Room?

I got a glory hole cubicle named after me at Signal Sex Club. Yes darlings, I have ARRIVED.

For those who think I had to... work my ass off for such an honor, I didn't! I just asked the friendly manager Matt what it would take to get my name hanging on a door in that illustrious establishment. He said it would be no problem and he'd make my dreams come true if I brought him a name plate. Since my name isn't popular in Australia, I enlisted Gerald who was traveling to the US. I got a text message from him in NY that warned he had found the perfect sign:

How exciting to have my name associated with furtive orgasm. "And shame," says Gerald.
For context, Jesse's room at Signal.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crowd Funding: Do The Right Thing

I'm also excited about Jesse Matheson's new arts magazine THE FEED. He threw a launch party at protohub last Saturday for the crowd-funded first issue of his fabulous quarterly. When's the perfect time to start a new print publication? When nobody else is! Jesse and his creative friends realized they were already writing for free, so why not put their efforts into their own magazine? Read the most engaging stories on fashion, travel, arts, and why cinema needs more robots... in The Feed!
Jesse will be on my radio show, Gay Panic, this Thursday at 7:30pm. Yes, that show is still rocking the airwaves on 2SER 107.3, so tune in for all that glitters PLUS the latest on my co-host Jack Crane's sexual misadventures.

Sick of filling up landfills and contributing to the plasticization of the oceans? Support DIZM eco-eyewear - they're high performance (coming at you direct from the surf capital Hermosa Beach), super stylish, meant to last in outdoor action and made from cellulose acetate which is renewable, recyclable and compostable plant-based material - and not petroleum. 
The best part is, they're manufactured by my friends so please support their crowdfunding campaign here and get onto all those perks! You can also check it out on my blog's right margin.